USA vs Russia: The Russia vs USA enters the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship in the midst of the most successful stretch in the history of their evolving under-20 program, having medalled in three consecutive tournaments for the first time. Team USA road to a second straight gold medal at the World Junior Championships continues with a quarterfinal matchup against Russia.
USA vs Russia Live Stream: How To Watch World Junior Championship 2019 Free Online TV
One of the most exciting hockey events of the year is set to kick off on Wednesday with the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship getting underway in Vancouver and Victoria, Canada. The annual tournament features fun, fast-paced play and gives hockey fans a look at some of the elite young prospects who will be making their way to the NHL soon.
It might be the most fun event on the hockey calendar behind the Stanley Cup Playoffs, so if you’re in need of a primer for this year’s tournament, we’ve got you covered.
What is the World Junior Championship?
The WJC, or more simply the World Juniors, is an annual international ice hockey tournament that features some of the best under-20 players in the world. A large number of NHL prospects participate in the event every year, both in the form of players who have already been drafted and players who are expected to be drafted this summer. The main tournament features the top-ten ranked hockey nations in the world, but there are also several lower divisions that play separate WJC tournaments for the purpose of promotion/relegation.
How does the format work?
The event typically runs from the day after Christmas until early January, with a round-robin preliminary round preceding an elimination three-round playoff. The 10-team field is split evenly into two groups (Group A and Group B), with every team playing one prelim game against each of the four other teams in their group. The preliminary round uses a 3-2-1-0 point structure (3 points for a win, 2 points for an OT win, 1 point for an OT loss, 0 points for a regulation loss).
At the conclusion of the preliminary round, the top four teams from each group will move on to the playoff round, while the last place teams from each group will face off in a best-of-three series to determine who gets relegated for next year’s tournament. The two nations staged one of their greatest WJC moments to date in a snow-globe shootout classic in 2017, a statement victory for the U.S. on the heels of winning gold over Canada in Montreal in 2016. But the U.S. went on to lose to Sweden in the semifinals and Canada got the last laugh, defeating the Swedes to reclaim gold on American soil.
Nevertheless, the United States is now an established power on the World Juniors circuit. And the Jack Hughes-led Americans are once again medal contenders, opening the tournament behind only Canada’s gold-medal odds.
Here’s everything to know about the tournament, including games online in the United States and a complete schedule with updated scores and standings.
Team USA’s schedule, results at World Juniors
Like in years past, the format for the 2018-19 World Junior Championship consists of two groups of five teams. They’ll play a preliminary round robin to determine seeding, followed by a single-elimination tournament. The U.S. drew Group B, which also includes Slovakia, Kazakhstan, Sweden and Finland.